In this essay two educational theorists, Maria Montessori and Friedrich Froebel, are discussed. To do this, I summarise their philosophies, compare them, and describe their approaches. The essay closes on my own personal reflections. The main aim of this essay, for me, is to arrive at a better understanding of both theorists’ outlooks on early education and come to my own conclusions regarding their approaches. The following section describes the two theorists’ philosophies, firstly focusing on
Montessori and then Froebel.
2. Montessori’s and Froebel’s philosophies
Many have agreed that Montessori’s philosophy has had a significant impact on the world of early years education. For example, Mooney (2000: 23) claims that “Montessori’s theories about children have influenced the way all…show more content… Although there may be differences in their methods, it has been put forward that "both Froebel and Montessori sought to provide the most beneficial educational environment to promote each child's development" (Early Childhood Education, Froebel and
Montessori, 2013). The following section moves on to discuss both theorists’ contributions to the field of early childhood education.
3. Montessori’s and Froebel’s contribution to early childhood education
Mooney (2013: 22) confirms that Montessori's first opportunity to work with children came in 1907
"when she opened her first Casa dei Bambini (Children’s house) in the slums of Rome". She opened this school to compensate for the terrible conditions in many children’s homes (Mooney, 2013). The same author states that Montessori came to the conclusion that in order for a child to learn comfortably, they need furnishing and tools their own size to accommodate their small hands. Montessori implemented this through making "many of her own materials" (Mooney, 2013: 22).
As well as creating and using meaningful age-appropriate materials, Ridgway (2008: 16) explains